Virginia Wine Time

We Enjoy Virginia Wine

Month: July 2006

Gadino Cellars

New to rose-style wines? Then try Gradino’s Moonrise Red. We’ve written about the resurgence of Rose-style wines, and Virginia wineries produce some excellent wines in this category. Our recent trip to Gadino allowed us to sample the Moonrise Red, and we even brought along a friend from Arizona. It was this friend who described the Moonrise Red as a Bohemian Red, and as we enjoyed a glass of the Moonrise Red, images of summer concerts and moonlit summer evenings with BBQ or rustic fare came to mind. We concluded that Bohemian was an apt descriptor!

The Moonrise Red is actually a blend that includes Cabernet Franc, one of the premier Virginia varietals. We enlisted our friend, Homer, to describe the sensory experiences that he enjoyed; we concurred with his conclusions. Homer detected a woodsy/spicy aroma, and he observed cranberry and strawberry flavors in the mouth. Homer found the Moonrise Red to be on the drier side, and he was correct. The Moonrise Red contains less that 1% residual sugar and would be classified as a semi-dry wine. The clear red color enchanted our friend; its lively, mystical character led him to conclude that it was “Bohemian” in nature. We also sensed a fun-loving, devil-may-care quality to the Moonrise Red and determined that the Homer’s descriptor was indeed appropriate!

We have been encouraged with the recent samplings of Virginia’s Rose-style wines, and Gadino’s Moonrise Red certainly provides an example of what Virginia has to offer to this genre. Keep this in mind when deciding what to bring to the Wolftrap concert or the neighbor’s BBQ. However, the Moonrise Red would also accompany a summer salad or even a roasted beet soup.


Our friend, Homer, enjoyed his visit at Gadino. He was a novice at wine-tasting, and we appreciated his contributions to our review of the Gadino wines. Also sample Gadino’s Viognier, Sunset White, and Cabernet Franc, and enjoy the mountain views from their outdoor deck! In the meantime, we eagerly anticipate the latest offerings from this new winery!

If you visit Gadino Cellars, please tell them you read about them on the Virginia Wine Time blog.

Storing Wine

How do you store your wine? There are many ways of course but there are several things to take into consideration when storing your wine. Temperature, humidity, darkness, calm, and angle of storage are just a few of the factors involved with wine storage. Paul found a great article online to help in figuring the best situation for storing your wine. To read about all the factors involved with storing wine, click here.

Recently Paul decided to change the way he was storing his wine. Believe it or not, he was storing it above the refrigerator in his kitchen. The temperature alone was not ideal. So he decided to move all his wines into a larger rack system and move the rack into the living room on the floor. This is a cooler, darker place and all the bottles of wine can sit properly at the right angle. A wine cellar would be ideal but when you live in a condo you have to make due with what you have.


How do you store your wine?

Happy Anniversary Gray Ghost

This past weekend marked the twelfth anniversary for Gray Ghost Winery. As our readers already know, we wrote a series on the winemaking process based on our experiences at Gray Ghost, and we could not resist returning to Gray Ghost to congratulate Al, Cheryl and Amy. Therefore, on July 8 we decided to attend the anniversary event held at the winery, and we had a wonderful time.


For a nominal fee we received a special logo glass and full wine tasting; we also witnessed civil war re-enactments complete with exploding cannons! It was a lovely day with warm temperatures and low humidity, and our picnic lunch was accompanied by jazz performed by a trio of musicians. We were able to visit with Al while we tasted the full line of Gray Ghost wines, and to our surprise the 2005 Cabernet Franc was released just that day. We had already tasted the Cabernet Franc at the March barrel tasting; so, we were anxious to taste it out of the bottle. The 2005 Cabernet Franc at Gray Ghost is not blended, and this was evident when we brought our sample to the nose. It possessed a strong raspberry aroma with a bit of herb and spice, and these are the characteristics that are unique to Cabernet Franc. We savored the Franc’s raspberry flavors and then opted to purchase a bottle for lunch.

Of course, we always bring food with us when we visit wineries, and on this day, we brought along spicy deli meats served on a baguette seasoned with olive oil and cracked pepper. An assortment of salty nuts, cheeses, and fruit also came along for lunch, and we enjoyed our wine and food while listening to the cool sounds of the jazz.


After lunch we decided to check out the civil war re-enactors. A John Mosby look-a-like provided the presence of the Gray Ghost, and he directed a small contingent of civil war soldiers/re-enactors to give demonstrations of Civil War era cannons and guns. Also lending an air of authenticity to the occasion were several women dressed in fashions of the era. They seemed immune to the deafening roar of the cannons, but we covered our ears when warned to do so by Colonel Mosby!


We concluded our day by wishing our best to the Kellerts; they will be busy planning the wedding for their son, Al, Jr. while also gearing up for another harvest season. Amy advised that we practice our bending exercises in preparation for this year’s harvest, and we eagerly anticipate our opportunity to harvest again this fall.

Oasis Wines and Wolf Trap

On Wednesday, June 21 we went to Wolf Trap to see Los Lonely Boys. We brought a nice picnic dinner that included barbeque chicken and Mexican bean salad; of course, we wanted to bring along a bottle of Virginia wine. To accompany our picnic and to provide refreshment on a very warm and humid evening, we decided to bring along a bottle of the Oasis Dogwood Blush; incidentally, Oasis sells its wines at Wolftrap events. The concert was great, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Dogwood Blush; in fact, we wondered about Oasis’ latest releases, and we decided to pay the winery a visit.

We went to Oasis to sample their new releases, and to our surprise the 2003 Merlot and the 2005 Riesling had been released since our last visit. Due to limited supplies, Oasis poured only three wines in the tasting room. We were able to sample the 2003 Barrel Select Chardonnay, the 2005 Riesling, and the 2003 Merlot; moreover, we opted for the sparkling wine tasting and sampled the Brut and the Celebration Infinity. These sparkling wines were truly delightful pours. It must be noted that Oasis’ 2004 offerings will be limited due to hurricane damage inflicted upon the vineyard. However, future releases will include the highly-rated Meritage, and we anxiously await its release.


Needless to say, we brought food along with us, and we enjoyed our lunch with a bottle of the 2003 Merlot. The merlot is a blend of 86% merlot, 7% cabernet franc, and 7% cabernet sauvignon, and it is medium bodied with big cherry flavors that blossomed as the wine opened up. The Oasis 2003 Merlot paired well with our deli sandwiches prepared with black forest ham, salami, provolone cheese, and olive tapenade. For dessert we had cherries and strawberries, and these we enjoyed with the 2005 Riesling. What a treat! To heighten our experience, we decided to savor the Riesling out on the deck where wonderful mountain views delight the senses.

We were also delighted to see Michaele and Tariq who are both so friendly and welcoming, We chatted about the Saturday polo matches, and we hope to attend one soon. We also plan to attend other Wolftrap concerts and will bring along Oasis wines.

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